5th - 17th February
Trip Start Unknown
88Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Our stay at the Ibis was as relaxed as it could possibly be. Our days were spent lying on the beach listening to the waves crash ashore and reading; I would paddle at the water's edge (strong currents, undertows and large rocks made me prudent), while Patrick would play in the waves and enjoy being thrown about; we’d occasionally walk the 1.5 km into town and wander round the colourful market, full of exotic fruits and vegetables I’d never seen before and admiring the large pond full of lily pads and flowers in bloom; we’d go for long walks along the beach up to the lagoon, where we could wade across, up to our waists, and carry on along 'lonely’ beach; we watched masses of fireflies flitting through the fairy-like groves and high into the tops of the palms; we’d sit in the guesthouse restaurant, feeling the ocean breeze as we ate fresh barracuda caught by our host and drank cold Sri Lankan ‘Lion’ beer
Our room was named ‘Paradise’ and indeed we felt very near to it whilst staying at the Ibis. The staff were lovely and laid back (no doubt due to their regular smoke of the local ganja!) and the beaches were pleasantly empty except for fellow guests. It was a stunning setting, with the lagoon behind our guesthouse and winding round down to meet the sea. The beaches stretched white, against the aqua of the ocean, for miles. The seashells were incredibly beautiful of all sizes, types and colours and I would spend hours just happily beachcombing.
The highlight of my stay in the Ibis, was when I had the incredible good fortune one night to be awoken by Ranjith, the guesthouse owner, knocking on our door saying ‘turtle on the beach’. Though it was only 11pm, he still roused me from slumber. While Patrick carried on sleeping, I dressed and went down to the beach and walked up a short stretch, where I found the staff of the guesthouse and one other couple crouched about 20 metres from a sea turtle, who was digging a hole to deposit her eggs. We waited and watched for about a half an hour and Ranjith then shimmied along the sand and got closer to the turtle until he beckoned us over. Sea turtles go into a kind of trance once they start to lay their eggs and are not disturbed by light or sound, so we were able to get right up next to the turtle and watch has she deposited egg after egg, sometimes two at a time
We were very happy beachcombers for twelve days in Tangalle, enjoying the gentle warm breeze, the time to read, sleep, relax and even to plan the next steps of our journey….. the long awaited Southeast Asia!